tv Capital News Today CSPAN December 30, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EST
staff were eventually for kennedy and the head of the army when ike was there believed in committed war and certain trumpet and fought the the nuclear age there was the only kind of format you could fight was once a that is a great debate. but i do not -- i cannot conceive of eisenhower having okayed that operation. ..
>> now, a look at the 10th president, millard fillmore he became president in 18 fit d. at hatred.us tailor. this is about an hour.nk you v [applause] >> thank you very much. it's always a wondrous occasion eeen before you're even fullyodb introduced you to buy it out returning. [laughter]tely. i was expecting you would tell me that i had to come back and give a talk about grover cleveland. then i would have the buffalo trifecta. so what does one say when you come here?
the first time i came here was right after i received the chair i came with the bit of trepidation. acting career save. i should point out that while mckinley sadly was assassinated here when he mustered out of the ohio volunteers in 1867, he went to the close as law school he could find, northern ohio, which was in albany new york. so he is actually in the albany law school where i teach. a complicated figure. they know very little about him other than that he has gathered his first name of any american president and it goes down from there. he hasn't been the remembered and no one quite knows why he was there. so i'd like to give you some perspective on that. i should say that there are -- what you will hear was not tied
to making happy if he were alive today. this would not be a particularly flattering talk. i want to start out on the upside by putting up there are a number of pieces of millet, life that were really quite wonderful, and this institution is one of them. as many of you know he was one of the founders of the buffalo historical society and also the first chancellor of the university of buffalo. and, indeed, in many ways fillmore's greatest accomplishments are right here in buffalo. the greatest accomplishments were as a city builder, as an institution builder, as a man who understood the importance of his own city. and probably of all the things he did his two nephews is president the thing that he probably like to the most was to sign a gigantic public works bill which was known as the harbors and white house bill,
and as you might guess, a significant event -- amount of that money went to new york state and a good deal of that new york state money went to dredging the harbor on lake erie and to afford a fine some of the other pieces of the infrastructure of buffalo's water harbor and its connection to the erie canal. so, in fact, in many ways filmore was a great civic booster. fillmore was born in caylee county in some bernie is, new york on lakes can ems about 25 miles from auburn. ironically, of course, as in new york politician his greatest rival would be william henry seward who moved to auburn as a young man and made his career as an auburn politician. here you have within just a few miles of each other fillmore and seward, the two rivals in the
new york state would party. he grows up as an impoverished farm boy. he is probably the second or third least prosperous person in his use to become president in the 19th century. in many ways see parallels lincoln, although lincoln probably grew up in even greater poverty. one of the differences is that the more grows up in rural upstate new york, which means there are public schools. and so he gets the kind of rudimentary education through about age 13 of 14 when his father practices and to work in a textile mill. later on when the mill is closed during the panic of 1819, america's first oppression, he enrolls a local academy to kind of kit as much of a high-school education as he can in one year. i'm not sure how much education he gets, but what he does get is his teacher whose for five years
later he maries, and so at least has an instructor in the white house for his career as president. and in 1820 the fillmores in leave rural kaysix county and move to east zero witches are affected in the is pretty much the middle of nowhere and yesterday pretty much a suburb of buffalo. in those days it would have been a long day's or tried. ended 1822 when he is now a full majority over 21, emancipated, he moved to buffalo, teaches school, works for a law firm, and after only a year of clerking at a law firm the lawyers in the firm and other lawyers and buffalo go to the local court and petitioned the local court to admit fillmore to the bar early because he is such a smart guy and such a hard-working guy. so if you can imagine millard
fillmore 1823 recently admitted to the bar, about 6 feet tall, by the standards of the times strikingly handsome, from the middle of nowhere deeply insecure about his social status. always dressing has absolutely properly and conservatively as possible to, in fact, hide the fact that he is not quite security is. reading constantly, trying to improve himself. has just been admitted to the bar. what does he do? believes the firm in buffalo and because back. there are no other lawyers. and so he figures he will have no competition. he was afraid to practice law in buffalo because he didn't know enough. this personal insecurity, this uncertainty about who he was will haunt him in many ways for
the rest of his life and will have a dramatic and not particularly helpful impact on his presidency. in 1826 at the age of 26 because he was born in 1800 he goes back and finally mary's at abigail powers and then brings her to buffalo where he is now a prosperous lawyer. and one can imagine the transition. he left on foot. the empoverish son of impoverished farmers who in an age when owning your own farm was the most important thing, they lost their land through either fraud or not being very smart about the land they bought. they had been renters. they were at the very bottom of the social status. fillmore returns from in a
carriage with the nicest city combined to marry his sweetheart and bring her. where she continues to teach school. indicating that he is not as financially well-off as the carriage and clothing would have. abigail powers becomes the first first lady to have worked outside of the home. and the first first lady, of course, to have worked after marriage. other first ladies white jacqueline the viejo would work before she married john kennedy, but after marriage she, of course panel would not work. abigail powers works both before and after marriage and it would be a very long time into the 20th century before we would have first ladies who had worked outside the home, either before or after marriage.
in 1827 fell more becomes involved in politics. he begins to give speeches at something known as the anti masonic party. some of you will scratch your head and say what is the entire masonic party? well, is just what it says it is to my political party dedicated to stopping the vast dangerous conspiracy of the masons because people in western new york and the erie county believe that the masons were part of an international conspiracy to take over america. the anti masonic party begins when a stone mason named morgan disappears in erie county, his body was never found. the claim is that the maces assassinated morgan because he was going to reveal the words secrets of the masonic order. the real motive of the anti masonic party was as a stalking horse to fight off andrew jackson who happened to be a mason and martin van buren
happened to be amazing because everyone knew andrew jackson would be running against the incumbent john quincy adams and the next election. but fillmore does include into this. he gives speeches, and he buys into this year of a huge masonic conspiracy. of course next time we see the shriners' riding around in their little motorcycles with enhance. we can begin to wonder what he was thinking. >> but it gets him elected to the state legislature. and he is elected to the state legislature in 1828 and 1829, and 1830 running as the anti masonic and it from here county. his great accomplishment and the legislature is to propose a bill to ban sending people to jail if they are in debt, sending people to debtors' prison. the old english law notion of debtors prison was this, most
people who went into debt in medieval england were, in fact allow the people who borrowed money to get more wealth. they did not pay their debt. the assumption was their were hiding their wealth, hiding their accepts. if you put them in jail that would fess up and suddenly find money to get themselves out. that may have made sense in medieval england. it made no sense in america in the 1840's and 1830's when farmers are all over america when into debt to buy land and some times of bankrupt and could not pay their land. so far more is responsible for drafting the bill that ends debtors' prisons in america, but because the anti mazes are minor party he ultimately has to back off and let the democrats control the legislature passed the bill and get the law reform. in 1830 he declares he will run for reelection to the legislature and, instead, he moved to the big bustling future metropolis of western american buffalo.
and he moved to buffalo in 1830 and practices law. but he also practices politics because in 1832 he is elected to the united states congress. spends one term in congress, does not do anything remarkable, but he does become friends with daniel webster who is, of course, one of the great orators and the great stars in american politics. webster to expel more under his wing the way webster took many men under his wing because, of course, webster has only one goal in life, and that is to live in the white house. and so the more people he can get to like webster the more chances there will be that webster will someday be president. tomorrow will remain a lifelong friend, and when fell more becomes president he will bring webster and his cabinet. in 1836 -- in 1834 he does not run for congress. he did not like washington. he wants to stay at home. he goes back to practicing law.
in 1836, 38, and 40 he is reelected to congress three times. it was a safe seat. he probably could have been buffalos congressman. in asia and the new york legislature will let the senators. it would have been entirely possible that if he stayed in congress for three or four more terms he would have eventually got to the senate. instead he leaves the congress at the end of the congress in 1843, returns to new york, and probably decides he wants to be the vice-president and it in 1844. why he thought he should be the vice-presidential candid it is something that i having read an awful lot about him cannot figure out. he is virtually unknown. no one has ever heard of him. up until this time every elected vice president had been a figure
of national significance. governors, senators, generals, founding fathers by john adams. fillmore was a fourth term congressman from new york and a three term state legislator from new york. hardly the stuff of national politics. he does get the nomination for governor, and that much more plausible. a man he could bring western new york to the way party and perhaps get elected president. but, in fact, he is not elected and 8044. he loses by about 10,000 votes and a very close election. henry clay the running is the weekend for president this is new york by 5,000 votes. fillmore comes away from that election bidder at two groups. he believes the reason he lost the election is because the anti
slavery people did not support him and catholic ever arrested not support him. now, the antislavery people that support him because fillmore had never ever said anything hostile to slavery, never said he was opposed to slavery in any way. and, of calls, he is running on a ticket with henry clay who is a slave live from kentucky. so, in fact, 15,000 yorkers love for the liberty party to my third party. had they all voted for the ways that would have won, but why would these anti slavery people voted for the waves when they are on the perspective of people who opposed slavery and are no different than the democrats. the catholic vote is very important. where is the more stand? well, he is making nice and making speeches with and making himself very available to another weird third-party, the north american party. the north american party is the party that wants to stop all catholic immigration into the
net states. it's not surprising the catholics did not support fillmore. he doesn't get it. his rival and the way party is william henry seward. and while they are personal rivals they also disagree on very important issues. seward is openly anti slavery, and openly in favor of expanding rights for african-americans for new york state. it's a word will find a number of laws when he is government to help blacks. in his two terms of governor he had done a great deal for african-americans and he had done a great deal to put new york on the edge of opposing slavery were ever permissible under the constitution. similarly soared was comfortable with catholic immigration. seward supported the demand that claimed plenty of catholic and rest of the the new york schools
stop forcing bible reading because the bubbles were protestant and stopped having school prayer because the bears were all protestant, or the new york state legislature supports catholic schools. stewart could go either way, but he understood that the mostly irish catholic immigrants had a legitimate complaint that on one hand there were required to goes cool and on the other hand, once they got to school they had to say protestant prayers' and read from the press the bible. fillmore said he's in favor of separation of church and state without ever and acknowledging that the public schools in new york were protestant public-school teaching pros to religion and protestant theology. this is, again, a kind of blind and the hess. after the governor he goes back to buffalo and then in 1847 he is elected to the elected office of comptroller of new york. the first elected comptroller, a brilliant comptroller, a great
mind for numbers. a good finance guy. he remained comptroller of new york, he probably would have held that job for very long time and we might look debt fell more as the man who said new york finances on the road to success. but he wants bigger things. and so in 1848 his name is introduced at the convention to be the vice-presidential candidate. now, the weak condition is very weird. between 1847 and 1848 the united states is fighting the mexican war. the waves were opposed to the mexican war. so who do the way to nominate? general zachary taylor. the hero of the mexican war, a man who has never voted in his
entire life. never run for public office in his entire life. in fact, never done anything his entire life except be a soldier and buy some sugar plantations in the south where he was an absentee landowners. so here you have a man with zero electoral political experience, but a certain amount of very shrewd political experience because you don't get to be a major general in the united states army in the mid-19th century without having a lot of political skills. anyways, taylor is very much like dwight eisenhower. a man who never held public office but turned out to be a very shrewd politician once he became president because you don't get to be the commander of all of the allied armies without having great political skills. to balance the ticket with taylor the have to have a northerner, and a number of northerners are for the
vice-president see, and for one reason or another, which i detail in my book which is, of course, why we're all here, shameless plug. all the other potential candidates could knock off. fillmore is left. his main campaign manager in new york state senator from binghamton runs around the convention telling everybody what they want to hear. so he tells northerners that fell more is against expanding slavery into the territories. he will support the well mob proviso which has been a bill in congress to ban slavery in the new territories. he tells of that is, don't worry about fell more, held be okay. mostly he talked to other northerners because everybody knows, but the mayor is going to get the vice-presidential nomination. in addition, some lawyers support the more because they know it fell more as a vice president then taylor won't put a new yorker and his cabinet because if he did put under yorker and it would be stored
and there were many people in the party is despised and because he was hoddy and arrogant and not -- obnoxious. incredibly smart and usually right, and those are very bad combinations for some people. it's one thing to be haughty and arrogant and wrong in another thing to be right and modest. when you combine them it's a problem. saussure get the nomination. taylor and fillmore run for office. zachary taylor has never met him. is that permits that retailer. they made -- met three days of with a presidential inauguration . fillmore goes down. he is going to be the political puppeteer behind the taylor administration. taylor knows nothing about politics. fillmore is the great political genius that he has been congressman for four terms. in the new york legislature for
three terms. that makes him think he's a great politician. he thinks the taylor will consult him on all appointments and he will control all of new york patronage. but by the time he gets to washington he finds out that the newly elected u.s. senator is already give friends with three or four members of the cabinet and hanging out with taylor all the time. and taylor is a slave owner, a planter with more than 100 slaves and sioux word is and how not have not -- abolitionist, they get along wonderfully well because when sword is not being arrogant he is capable of being enormously charming. this is a problem because he is not even capable of being charming. he is not -- he is also incapable of being arrogant because he is, in fact, and secure. and so what turns out in the administration is that fillmore gets a few pages, but, in fact,
sort gets as much patronage as film board is. fillmore it the cabinet. he hates taylor. he hates soared. he hates being vice-president. he hates living in washington in a hotel because he can't find a house to rent that he can afford , and he hates the fact that abigail is still in buffalo and refuses to move to washington until he as a house and because he doesn't have a house she will come. meanwhile, congress debates the compromise of 1850. the nation is in something of a crisis. we have defeated mexico, required vast territories in the southwest. southerners insist that all of this be open to slavery. many northerners insists none of the be open to slavery. meanwhile the california gold rush is on. california has lost a hundred thousand people. it's ready to come in as a state. everything is in chaos.
southerners are demanding. we should in slavery in the district of columbia because it does seem to have people bought and sold in the shadows of the nation's capital. taylor, the general, sees all of these problems and as a general, as a man he defeated santa anna's army combat one battle and number four to one community still defeats santa ana. as a general understands how you fight your worst taylor sees these as a series of separate issues and he wants to tackle them one at a time. first he will bring california into the union as a free state. then he will bring in mexico and as a free state. and they don't want slavery there. then he will deal with the rest of the territories. then he will deal with the fugitive slaves, then the slavery in the district of columbia. along the way he will deal with
taxes of serb demands that half of new mexico should go to texas . have texas lost to take everything to santa fe, and he will deal with the demands that says the texas republican came in to the union. i have to ask if all of you have so funds, could you please turn off. thank you. this texas came into the union the debts from the texas republican. texas is demanding that the united states government bailout texas because texas is in bankruptcy. by the way, we will do this. the first federal bailout in american history is texas. i wish that somebody would teach governor perry of texas now. as he talks about secession and running for president the same time. i want to know what country. taylor would deal with these one of the time. in the senate, however, henry clay, the grand old man of
american politics has a different idea. he hates taylor. he hates taylor because he thought he should have been the weak nominee in 1848. he does not understand how this of star politician who never did anything suddenly is president rather than henry clay has earned it. and his plan is to run congress and force what he calls an omnibus bill which is putting all of the issues together in one bill, drive it like a bus to congress, make taylor sign it, and what he really wants to do is he wants to be the guy who runs the country. taylor will simply be the figurehead. fillmore, the vice-president, aligns himself with clay. fillmore tells zachary taylor that the omnibus bill comes up for a vote in the senate and it's a tie vote, even though taylor has said he will oppose the omnibus bill because it does not want to deal with all these issues a once, fillmore will vote for it, but the time and
forces of president to veto it. great politics. he tells taylor this early in july. on july 4th i retailer goes to a july 4th picnic. he sits in the hot sun for hours and hours. july 4th is great. he sits in the sun for hours and hours, it cucumbers and no court cherries in know, were not sure which. not much refrigeration. he gets a stomachache. at the time he weighs in at close to 300 pounds. a stomachache for him as a national disaster. and a few days later he's dead. and suddenly the man from the middle of nowhere is president of the united states. ..
whenever an accidental president comes into power, members and in a resignation. and most presidents they thank you and put these envelopes and their task. if you need them later, they take them out. so bobby kennedy, for instance, offered to resign that lyndon johnson became president in london said no, cocreator brother appeared a year or so later saidar it's time to take this out of mask bobby kennedy to leave. he sylmar d does what no other e accidental president has ever he a done. he accepts everyone of these resignations when they arehen ta offered, the day he was inaugurated.te so here we have a president and pr agreat poitica great debating this with southerners ranting and northerners ranting with
texas saying they will invade mexico which they felt was a serb and what it was like a lead an army to hang the governor of texas the way that andrew jackson had promised not threatened but promised to lead an army into colombia's of carolina and hang the governor of south carolina during the nullification crisis but the jailer is all set but fillmore is upset and the fact that texas might invade mexico. and what does he did he fires the secretary of the war and interior and fibers everybody else in the cabinet. he then spends the first three weeks of his administration trying to the cabinet together because all the people in order but peculiarly no one to take the secretary of interior for secretary of the war position the people he needs most to deal with the issue of the territories.
he brings in as the secretary of state daniel webster, his old friend. daniel webster spent his entire life wanting to be president. and the minute he becomes the secretary of state he begins to plot to get the 1852 nomination for the president. so, if i can fast-forward to the 18523 convention once the nomination he wants to run on his own he wants the heroes of the mexican war general winfield scott once the nomination and his own secretary of state daniel webster once the nomination. for 33 ballots the convention can't nominate a president. fillmore and scott are neck and neck and webster holds 30 or 40 delegates. if you can imagine a sitting
president of the united states who is too insecure or too confused or too indecisive to call his own secretary of state out into the white house and say daniel, either release your delegates to me or resign from the cabinet or they will fire you and have ten minutes to make it your mind you can't do that instead he left webster humiliated in that convention until finally his own delegates of and him and vote for space because they realize how humiliating this is and of course the ticket goes down to the disastrous defeat and still webster remains in the cabinet until the fall and fall when he finally dies. that is fillmore as the politician. and so he becomes president and congress debates the compromise bills and they pass them on ultimately won at a time just as taylor thought.
congress brings california into the union as a pre-state, and that is one gift to the north capano three those of you that remember high school history or college history will think back and say the was a great victory because it gave the north a permanent majority in the senate given a permanent majority of the state's but given that no one knew that the 1915 because after the in-store denies the rest of the western territory mexico, nevada, utah, quote parts of colorado, oklahoma, a piece of texas, a part of wheeling with no ban on slavery so while they can get california, one could imagine all of these other states coming into the union in sleaved states and of course people say you can't grow cotton in those parts of the region until of course they irrigate arizona and west
texas, but you can mine in those states and was always used for mining and was used for mining they'll get this as a great victory. in the congress passed the bill to give texas an enormous amount of money to pay off its debt for the republic period. then it takes a piece of new mexico and gives it to texas. not as far as santa fe but all the way to el paso, far more than texas ever had when it was a mexican state. and then congress bands the slave trade in the district of columbia. the public slave trade. it doesn't ban slavery, just the slave trade which of course is a meaningless gesture because you can take this leaves across the river to alexandria whenever you want. you can buy and sell them privately whenever you want. you simply couldn't have a
public auction. but the big issue is the fugitive slave law. under this, congress creates for the first time in the national bureaucracy a bureaucracy to put the federal commissioner in every county in the united states for the purpose of sending black people back to slavery if they are found to be a runaway slaves. under the law people interfering with the fugitive slave could get a thousand in jail. it didn't have a jury trial or habeas corpus and the alleged slave was not allowed to testify on behalf. the federal commissioner get $5 if he decided the person was not a sleeve and $10 if he decided the person was a slave. northerners believe this was an attempt to buy justice. immediately after the law was
passed, fillmore vigorously almost fanatically accused. i will give you two examples. in 1851 a maryland man tries to see the sleeve in pennsylvania and the resisted the maryland sleepovers killed. at the time about 50 men are hanging around watching this. they refuse to come to the aid of u.s. marshal. they just stand around and watch. 47 of them are invited not for violating the fugitive slave law but for treason. the treason trial in the history of the united states. president fillmore personally called the attorneys into the u.s. district attorney for pennsylvania to come to washington and insist that he seek treason and indictment and daniel webster, the great lawyer whose secretary of state helps him right up the indictment for treason. a weak leader, on october 1st with the liberty party convention going on in syracuse
just down the road from us, and the county's hearing none, lots of people in town the u.s. marshal arrests the fugitive slave. they plan to arrest because they want to arrest them while the liberty party is there so they can be in the face of the abolitionists. this is brilliant planning. 5,000 people attack the jail at night. jerry is a fugitive slave and in seven canada. and the fillmore administration insists that as many people as can be identified be indicted. they are indicted in syracuse but then they are shipped to buffalo and albany for trial because it is a civil case that can be anywhere in the northern district of new york and fillmore those the people in buffalo and albany are less sympathetic to abolitionists' people in syracuse. when they are indicted and in jailed, a local politician puts
up the bond so they can be let out of jail his name is senator william henry seward. [laughter] fillmore writes a letter to daniel webster in which he says god knows i detest slavery. and when one looks at his administration, one would only say if the almighty knew this, no one else did because he does everything he can to preserve and protect slavery. ultimately his administration founders of these issues while he is constantly kowtowing the south everything he can to support southerners'. hoping that southerners will support him in the 1850's to the election. she loses the nomination, tragically his wife dies shortly after that, tragically his daughter dies shortly after that. he goes on a grand tour to
europe, travels around europe, meets queen victoria who says he is the most handsome than he ever met and one wonders what kind of polis there were in england. [laughter] but he was certainly a good-looking man. he has an audience with the pope which is reluctant to have because he's afraid he will have to kiss the pope's bring and he's catholic to but he goes and beats him and within a month of meeting the pope he accepts the nomination to be the presidential candidate on the know nothing party and the know nothing party is the most powerful and successful anticatholic party in america. one of the planks of the presidential platform is that no catholic should ever hold public office in the united states. no immigrant can become a citizen unless they have lived here for 21 consecutive years. it is deeply hostile to
catholics and immigrants and he runs out the know nothing to get but no other state. and then he comes back to buffalo and spent the next five years being a spectacularly good citizen for buffalo. he is still the chancellor of the buffalo university. he helped organize the historical society and other civic activities and he is a very good citizen. in 1860 with his friend because he knew lincoln in congress with his friend running for congress almost all of the old wigs have become republicans fell more votes for the constitution of the union party. another party you've never heard of. but when lincoln ghost the white house he stops in buffalo and spends a day at the mansion because fillmore is now a wealthy man having done one of the two things one can do to become rich in america, the first of course is to choose rich parents, the second is to marry somebody who's rich.
he remarries a wealthy woman and lives in a great mansion in the dillinger against stay with him all the way to washington. when the war ranks of he organizes a local home guard. he's now 60-years-old, 61-years-old he organizes the home guard of old guys to march around the patriotic. he helps raise money to support when did soldiers and for the first two years of the war he's a patriot. and then something happens. lincoln declares that he's going to free the slaves. and fillmore turns on lincoln and attacks the lincoln administration. he's asked to speak at a fund-raiser for the wounded soldiers and in this fund-raising speech he says we are all making war in the dessel leading the fairest portion of the nation and that we are loading the nation with enormous
debt rather than talking about freedom, rather than talking about the traders in the south who made more on their own country kratovil talking about people like robert e. lee who took the oath at west point to defend the constitution and not heard of this country he is saying we are making war and the fairest part of the country. the -- he argued that the war was caused by partisan prejudice jealousy, malignant intriguing selfless and vision and that it was caused by the diluted fanatics in the north, the abolitionists. the buffalo papers are signed. they through the trees and word around. fortunately for fillmore, the lincoln administration had a stronger sense of what treason is than he did when he prosecuted abolitionists for simply refusing to help. but had he not been a former president it is possible giving speeches like that would have
led to his arrest in the civil war. after the war he simply shrinks into obscurity. so what do we make of his legacy? films i have not talked about he pushes for a transcontinental railroad which of course lincoln implements. he advocates opening japan open to american trade and sends commodore perry but it takes him so long to get to the exhibition route into the ocean that when he finally gets to japan franklin pierce is president now. he maintains an american presence in hawaii preventing the french because he thinks that some day america might want to but it will be william mckinley in the hawaiian islands and he pushes for a central american canal but doesn't do
anything about leaving that to teddy roosevelt, so he has visions and ideas that there is no follow-through. but on the central issues of his age his vision is myopic and his legacy is worse. he opens the west slavery and destroys the missouri compromise line. this total appeasement that encourages new demands for slave land his solution to the issue of slavery in the territories reached to kansas nebraska, the eustis region of the missouri compromise in what is the upper midwest, and further conflict in the west. he fanatically aggressively it forces the fugitive slave law which is the most oppressive law in american history. she runs for president on a ticket that openly attacked foreigners, immigrant and catholics. and retirement he opposes emancipation, campaigns in 1864 against clinton for a peace
candidate who would have left millions of the african-americans in bondage. in the end, sadly buffalo's first president fortunately not its last buffalo's first president was on the wrong side of the great moral and political issues of the age. immigration, religious toleration, equality and most of all, slavery. thank you. [applause] if anyone has any questions please make your way to this microphone that we will be using for c-span it won't protect your film for the auditorium but it's for the filming.
we welcome your questions which will be followed by the signing in the reception room of the courtroom. thank you for joining us. [applause] >> i had the pleasure of hearing five years ago down at jamestown and you were in front of 200 history teachers, and i thought of you a couple weeks ago when "time" magazine came out with a cover that pretty much supported your theory about the civil war and how this whole generation was taught that the civil war states' rights and they go what states right was that? i just love that peace corps and you were so compelling and i was wondering if you could replete to insure order here and i know that is not on the topic of fillmore but it is certainly on the topic of the 115th anniversary of the civil war. >> thank you to read it but even in jamestown was for high school
teachers and middle school teachers which is the most important things that we in the academy do is bring what we know to the ground level and doing if you study this and the teachers of course is a multiplier effect as one economist friends in college. basically i think almost every serious scholar understands the central issue of america midcentury is slavery. the central issue is how do you deal with slavery, and if you read the declarations of the secession of the southern states, if you read the declaration of south carolina or mississippi or texas or florida, they all say we are leaving the united states because slavery is threatened by a man who does not support slavery, abraham lincoln. they all say this. perhaps it is most distinctly stated by the vice president to the confederacy alexander stephens, a former congressman from georgia who says in a
speech right before the war meant begins that in the north they believe in racial equality and they are opposed to slavery, and in the south, now i am paraphrasing for a second, we understand, and then he uses this word, that the cornerstone of the confederacy, the cornerstone of the confederacy is that the north is wrong about the racial equality and we are right about slavery. it is the cornerstone of the confederacy. that is what the south seas. the problem understanding the this is when lincoln asks for volunteers to preserve the union, he doesn't see this as a crusade against slavery because he doesn't believe he has the constitutional or the legal power to end slavery, and furthermore, he is desperately hoping to keep the upper south states, virginia, north carolina, tennessee and arkansas
as well as maryland, kentucky, missouri and of course after the war begins, the most southerner of those, virginia, tennessee, north carolina and arkansas will succeed, but the other four will remain in the union. very early in the war in a group of ministers go to lincoln and they say will you free the slaves? if you freed the slaves you have got on your side and lincoln famously says i would like to have got on my side, but i need kentucky. so he waits until he has kentucky, and he knows he can probably win the war and then he moves through emancipation. but the south's seats to protect slavery. the south fights to protect slavery. to give you one weird x sable when we invaded pennsylvania in 1863 -- and here you have an army invading the number you would think that lee's goal would be to destroy the industry of southern pennsylvania, to
destroy factories that are building guns and making and gunpowder. he sent his troops out into the countryside to hunt runaway slaves and bring them back to virginia. this is what the confederate army is doing in the to 63. because this is what the confederacy is about. americans don't want to hear this. they don't want to think about it because especially those americans who have southern ancestry do not want to contemplate their ancestors may have fought to preserve human bondage. unfortunately for them if the read the records of what their ancestors say, there is no doubt. and fillmore was on the wrong side of this. yes? >> after the mexican war because of the or the majority of house of representatives how does that work into the three fifths rule?
>> of the constitutional convention -- this is great i teach at a law school course i teach the law, so anytime you ask me about something in the constitution i reach my comfort level. [laughter] maybe even above it. but in any event, at the constitutional convention there is of course a debate over how do you allocate representation in congress? and everybody -- most people want to buy population, but the southerners say we have to have blacks represented. northerners of course say how can you have been represented in congress when they are not citizens? they don't vote? the compromise that's reached is a 3/5 compromise that you will allocate representation in congress by counting all of the people in 3/5 of all of their people. so, what the south does is get a bonus in the house of representatives by counting the sleeves for purposes of your presentation.
for the example, in 1860 there are 4 million slaves in the united states. we just to do simple math said in each congressional district is 100,000 people, that would be 40 but then you'd factor in the two-thirds. so it would be, if i knew maffei wouldn't be a law professor. [laughter] it would be a substantial number of members of the house of representatives. in fact when you look at the vote on the fugitive slave law which is a very close vote, without the for 3/5 squall, the fugitive slave law could not have passed. without those extra representatives from the south created by the slavery, the fugitive slave law would not have passed. the other thing to remember is that the electoral college is created and the states get the electorate by counting the number of representatives and adding to that the number of
senators. so that the south it's a bonus for the presidential election. 1800, the election between thomas jefferson once close to 200 slaves and john adams who's never of a slave, adams loses by the six electoral votes. if you take the electoral votes away from jefferson and adams caused by counting slaves, jefferson doesn't get elected president. america might have been a very different place if an opponent of slavery had been in office when we bought louisianan from the french instead of a man who spent most of his life supporting slavery and doing everything he can to protect slavery. these are very serious issues. spreading to said there were 4 million slaves in 1860? >> the figure is 3.9 million triet i was rounding up a
little. >> what was the monetary -- i hate to ask this what was the monitoring -- >> you shouldn't be embarrassed by asking what the monetary value is. sleeves are john you will property. how do you measure what a slave is worth. if you go on the internet and see what is a thousand dollars in 1860 worth today will get four or five different answers raising depending on how they figure it out. sometimes they do a market, sometimes -- how much would it cost to buy a loaf of bread, a pound of meat etc, or sometimes they do it as a national product. when i teach this, what i say is that we should think of slaves as cars. a slave is as much as a car. my students will see what do you mean by that? and i would say they are old, run down dodge dart store still driving around and they are brand new mercedes and there are
old slaves that have a value but not much and there are some slaves that are worth thousands and thousands of dollars. slaves are enormously valuable. but my good friend jenny squall who is an economist at the college in minnesota has just done a paper on this which she shows overwhelmingly that it would have been far cheaper to buy all the risen at the highest market now give them that would have been to fight the civil war. however, the southerners wouldn't have sold because the other thing about slavery is slavery is not just about money. it's about racial equality and inequality. it's about racial superiority it's what alexandre stevens says when he says the north is wrong and the leading black people are equal to whites. and it's about the convenience of southerners. you know, how much is it worth to be able to ring the bell at
3:00 in the morning and bring a fresh glass of water if it means you have to go out to the pump and pump it. >> if they were not going to sell those that mean the price was too low? >> no, it means that southerners were committed to a way of life. and that slavery is more than just about economics. i once was talking to an economist who assured me that no master would never beat his slave because after all, why would a rational individual, you know, are on his own valuable property? and of course i didn't question whether beebee owning slaves was rational. but what i did say is if you've ever seen a man tried a cadillac into a tree he says only if they are drunk and i looked at him and said so? he said okay i will buy that. i sit have you ever seen anybody get so amedori that the slam a door so hard they break the window of the door? and he said yeah. i said so how much would it be worth if you had one of those days to be held to just come home and beat somebody up and
get away with it? covering an economist he said i have to think of a whole new equations to factor in the pleasure you get out of abusing people. that's understanding slavery. >> one ban's terrorist is another man's's petrie. moly -- and an irish catholic. and i'm wondering what was the argument not wanting catholic immigrants? and what were the arguments of the supporters? there must have been a tremendous number of people who saw things his way. >> i'm not sure what the terrorism has to do with it. because of course, there was no the 1840's or 50s. the argument is simply this,
that people like millard fillmore believe that america was a nation where people of english, scottish and welsh ancestry were protestants. and catholics were bad because they followed the antichrist in rome because the faludi religion that suppressed democracy and suppressed freedom. it's fascinating of course to think about the way that the structured these arguments. the police say to the to -- they always say catholicism -- we are going to press catholics because we are good democrats. to think it through a little harder. fillmore appeals to votes people in america who when faced with a crisis would like to blame what sociologists call the other.
that is people who are different than you. so that when i was giving a talk last week, and i think we probably have to end in a minute. this might be my last answer. giving a talk a couple of months ago actually in arizona, and people ask me about the crisis of the economy in arizona because the arizona economy semper the house is everywhere that they can't sell and people are being foreclosed. what do they blame this crisis on? illegal mexican workers who are coming in and taking the jobs for american citizens to. ..
a convenient scapegoat our irish democrats. they are poor. they are catholic. they are different from mass and may threaten mass. i should know, by the way, that's omar brings a treaty with switzerland to the senate energy senate to pass this treaty because they look at the american people right in switzerland swiss citizens equal rights in america except the first paragraph of the treaties that this will only apply to christian americans because half the cantons and switzerland did not allow to come then, much less do business or own land and air. and sylmar sees nothing wrong
with this comment even though by this time they are our a quarter million suntanning estates, not as many as laxatives or irish immigrants, but these american sitters since i'm not on fillmore's radar screen because they are not his americans. and that is why i would argue in fact what we have here is the first tea party president and in 1856, the first tea party presidential candidate. thank
in his book the president is a sick man matthew algeo tells of grover cleveland's secret surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in 1893. he talked about the book at the museum of american finance in new york city. this is just under an hour. >> hi, david, president of the museum of american finance. welcome back to our lunch andtoc learn series. welcome to the university of central oklahoma.kl all of the oakies are in theing. house. next week on the 26 we week on are going to continue the lunch and learn series.s. the director of the rothschildrl archives will be here.re. it should be really fascinating. thiss a this is a historic banking house
a week from banking a week from this thursday on the 24th, to say upcoming wii will be screening the rediscovering alexander hamilton. this is the pbs documentary recently released and not your questions about the movie can be answered because the producer or michael pack will be in the house. turning our attention to today and matthew algeo and "the president is a sick man." this is matthew's third book, his second harry truman's -- "harry truman's excellent adventure," which traced the cross-country trip in 1953. it got a lot of great press in 2009, the "washington post" called it one of the best books of the year. additionally before that, he wrote a book about the war years and foot on the seacoast, a combination of the pittsburgh steelers world war ii, another interesting boat. he has got a very eclectic
background, not just an author, not just a journalist. let me say some of of the things he has done. he has been a hot tub under a traveling circus. he's been a hollow in costume salesman. he has been a gas station attendant, a convenience store clerk and all this will put them in good stead because in two months, he is moving to mongolia with his wife who is a foreign service officer who is taking a position there. so there should be pretty tame. very importantly, he is a friend of this museum and a member of the. this my pleasure to introduce matthew algeo. [applause] >> oil economy make it sound much more in interesting than it is. it's great to be at the museum of american finance for a couple reasons. one is it is a fantastic museum and i've been coming for a few years now. more importantly when i was researching the book, the museum was very helpful answering my
questions and i would have frantic questions like, how many grains of silver were in a silver dollar in 1870? and this is the only place you could send an e-mail with an urgency and get it answered within an hour. so it was very helpful to me, the museum of american finance and i am a proud member. that is why i got in for free today. before i talk about grover, who was a very interesting person -- i should probably tell you a little bit about it much less interesting person. that would be me. as david said, my wife is a foreign service officer so he moves around a lot. my name is algeo. everyone thinks it's italian. it is actually irish. the always on the wrong end, i know. my grand parents were from the north of ireland and actually i have irish citizenship. i spent a year back in the 90s as a freelance reporter.
i should do this because it largely consisted of drinking a lot of for a year. but there was something interesting that i found about having unusual irish name in ireland. i had to get an identity card. sorry to the irish equivalent of the dnc and they were very organized. they have three lines in a cell according to the first letter of your last name. the first line with last names became a too well. the second line was meant to. and so, with an unusual last name in ireland, there were certain advantages to that. i am the youngest of seven, which is why i'm avoiding eye contact with you right now. i just found it was better to keep my head down. i did grow up in a house of readers. my parents were prolific readers they were sitting around reading the french existentialist or anything. my dad liked michener.
i used to say he would read by the pound. my mom liked true crime and biographies. when i was a kid it was always very embarrassing right in the chain into the city with her because she would be reading some name like the i-95 killer and on the front cover therapy somebody stabbing somebody. unlike and he just put it in a newspaper or something? i was lucky to grow up in a house like that. i ran to a friend from high school a few years ago and he said whenever he went to your house in high school, your parents to be sitting in the living room reading, no tv, no radio, no nothing. i was thought that was so weird. but now that he has kids of his own, i think he appreciates that was actually really good atmosphere to grow up in that fostered my love of looks. i went to college in philadelphia at the university of pennsylvania. i graduated in 1980 with a degree in folklore. and the other for comanagers here today?
[laughter] this was -- and david went through the list of other occupations i have had. i've obviously chosen many non-lucrative occupations, including writing these non-best-selling books. the folklore especially with a non-lucrative one and i still remember looking at the want ads in the "philadelphia inquirer" every sunday. it would've been great between forest and forklift operator if i remember correctly. but finding no such jobs, i moved to seattle and drifted into public radio. public radio, of course those are the stations play on the left of the diode. lake 89 to 91, around there and worked at public radio stations in st. louis and seattle. i was in minnesota for a while, went to maine for a while. 2005 a went to los angeles and got a job at the public radio program called marketplace, a good program. it was around this time that my wife took a foreign service exam
in past and was offered a position the u.s. foreign service. so we're in a bit of a quandary as to who would be the breadwinner, her or me. and after several rounds of voting, it was still one to one. and somehow i was manage to gain a controlling share in the firm and eventually she took the position in the foreign service and became the breadwinner, allowing me to work a little bit on this non-lucrative career. so into africa in the first book i did david mentioned was about the philadelphia pittsburgh steve o'steen the nfl is so short of players during world war ii that they had to merge the steelers and eagles. the quarterback had a perforated eardrum. the receiver was blinded in one night. lots of ulcers in the backfield because all the guys were for us. the rag tag, and a sick kind of a bunch. i i try to do with that book in the other books is to take a
small and unusual event in american history and really expand on it to talk a little more about the times that event takes place in. and hopefully i have done that with this boat. the "the president is a sick man" wherein the suppose it virtuous grover cleveland vilifies the courageous newspaper man who dared to expose the truth. well, thank you for coming everybody. [laughter] we were trying to be evocative of the really long 18th century titles that books have. you know, being the true and fair account of paul, blah, blah. this is the short version of the subtitle. we found that the database for booksellers today have a limit on how many characters you can have in the title of your books, so we had to reduce the title if you can believe that. i've always been interested in the story. i'm kind of a presidential history buffs and i've read several grover craver and
biographies. how many of you have read several grover cleveland biographies? i always knew the basic story that grover cleveland had a secret operation to remove a cancerous tumor from his mouth. by the way, enjoy your lunch while i talk about the cancerous tumor. i never thought much more about it, but about 10 years ago i went to a museum in philadelphia called the meter museum, the museum of medical history. they have all kinds of unusual things they are. if chief justice john marshall's lighter stones. if you ever have a hankering to see that. they've a piece of the brain of charles kitano, who is the guy who was assassinated garfield. and they have been a small glass jar, they have the tumor that was removed from grover cleveland's mouth in 1893 and this operation on a boat. so that really triggered my interest in the story, the fact that the tumor was still around
somebody at that maybe this is a good thing to keep, and interesting keepsake. so i talked to the museum and it turns out one of the doctors to perform the operation had kept it and donated it to the museum back in 1917. not only that -- i guess you would know he was a bit was a bit of a saver since he saved the tumor, but he also saved his correspondence and clippings and lots of information about the operation, which of course was intended to be secret. so i realize there is the possibility of doing something about this story. and as i dug deeper into it, i found it wasn't just the story of this operation. it was really the story of the economy at the time and also a story about medicine and a story about journalism as well. there were a lot of things going on in the 1890s, which is sort of a dead spot for me in my history. you know, the civil war, world war ii, world war i, that the 1880s and 1890s i didn't
know a lot about, so was fun to go back in the ring that probably i should have been taught earlier, like cucumber at the museum of american finance today. and it was the gilded age is what it was cold. mark twain gave it that name. it was not intended to be a complement. to guiltless unnecessarily extravagant and that means that. the politics are fascinating and there were so many things in researching the book and that i talk about in the book could really have resonance today. i don't go into this in the book so much, but i would like to find out the first earth or controversy took place in 1880 when garfield was running for president and his vice president was chester arthur. either way, good luck trying to get a book about chester arthur published. if you think cleveland is tough. but the rumors at the timer that chester arthur had been born in canada. his father was an irishman and
his mother was a canadian from callback and immigrated to vermont. but the story went that when she was pregnant and ready to give birth, she went back home to québec and had the baby bear, which if true would mean that chester arthur was not an american citizen because neither of his parents were and he wasn't born in the u.s. i will point out right now that we do not have the birth certificate, long or short form for chester arthur. he put his name in the family bible and said he was born in vermont and i guess that was good enough to qualify him to hold the office of vice president and president. grover cleveland who was elected four years after garfield in 1884 always fascinated he was a plain fact and this is everybody knows, grover served to nonconsecutive terms. he was the lack of an 1884, lost reelection in 1888 and came back four years later and won the white house that, which is a unique achievement in american
politics and the american presidency. so the guy had to be a pretty good politician. and of course he screwed up the number for the president. he is number 22 and 24, a little aside when president obama gave his and my girl addressed in 2009, he said 44 people have now taken this oath of office and i was a party with friends and i said no, 43 because grover gets counted twice. nobody wants to hear grover cleveland right now. my friends who were in rome at the time and much too much about grover cleveland can anyone shed and they forgiven if they don't buy the book. but you won't be. grover, aside from being a great politician also had the most extraordinary rise to the white house. in 1880 when garfield look-alike day, grover was a single guide had a very good luck disc, was
well respected and well-liked in buffalo. it really wasn't active in politics in buffalo. and in four years, he became president. and it's impossible to imagine now. we know the name of our next president. we don't know who is going to be, but we've heard the name at least. there's 30, 50 people might be present at the next two or three but heard their name. but that was in the when grover cleveland was direct it. no one heard of them for years before. he lived a charmed life in some ways. he was born in 1837. he studied at my law firm right there. had no formal education after 16, was self-taught and law. in 1881 they were looking for a reformist candidate to run as the democratic nominee for mayor of buffalo and grover won that election. he immediately establish a reputation for honesty and
integrity. he vetoed a lot of bills. he was known as the beat-up mayor, one of the most famous was that there was a bill to establish a new sewer system in buffalo and the city council awarded the contract to the highest bidder. and the difference between that and the next lowest bid was to be spread among all the members of the city council and grover vetoed that bill and many other bills and quickly earned a reputation for integrity and honesty in the following year he was elected governor of new york. two years later in 1884, he was elected president of the united states. so here you have from 18821894, a guy who goes from being a lawyer nobody heard about in buffalo to mayor to governor and finally to president. the 1884 election and this is another thing we think things have changed a lot, and they haven't changed that much was a terribly vicious election, one of the dirtiest in american
history. it came out during the campaign that grover had fathered an illegitimate child. his response to this is really legendary. he sent a telegram to his friends in buffalo this is simply, tell the truth. grover owned up to this. he has supported this child since birth and was still providing for the child. and really, his reaction to what could have been a debilitating scandal turned into any way positive thing for his campaign that demonstrated his integrity and his refusal to deny the truth. at the campaign he was running against james g blaine is that democrats like to say, james g blaine, the continental liar from the state of maine. and it really was that kind of vicious campaign. it all came down to new york state. new york had the largest number of electoral votes at that time. whoever won, new york state would win the election. a few days before the election,
blaine appeared at events in new york and was introduced by a protestant minister and the minister called the democrats the party of around, romanism in rebellion. drunk, catholic and disloyal basically. this one to cavaco vote, especially new york city to cleveland who carried new york by a thousand dollars to 1.1 million cast. so it was an extremely close election, but he won in 1884. in 1886 he finally married or use a batch of an elected. he married a woman named frances folsom who is only 21 at the time. grover was 49, 328 year each difference. i don't think we'll see another 21-year-old first lady again. it's possible. it's a good schwarzenegger can't be elected president. but francis turned out to be a great political asset for grover and was really one of the most beloved first lady's in american
history. there's a story after grover last election he ran for reelection hamas to benjamin harrison in the electoral vote, although grover won the popular vote in 1888, but he lasted a lot or a college. we'll never see that again. and as they were leaving the white house in 1889, apparently francis told the chief -- the chief steward there, just keep everything the way it is. we'll be back in four years. and sure enough in 1892, cleveland did win the white house back and he and francis another youngest daughter, bebe ruth moved into the white house. there had been one change. benjamin harris and while the cleveland's were -- while they were in the white house and the cleveland's were away, they changed from gas to electric. and i think they did this so none of the cleveland's appliances would work. [laughter] in 1892, grover wins the
election and takes the oath of office in march. the inaugurations were in march that time. it was not a good time to become president and this is where the panic of 1893 comes in. nine days before grover took office, the reading railroad had gone bankrupt. the reading had been one of the most successful where roads in the u.s., just before they built a brand-new terminal in philadelphia, which stood until the 1980s. but in 1893, the reading what bankrupted it was a bad sign. railroads were hopelessly overbuilt in the 1880s and 1890s and this is a speculative bubble, much like we've had recently with other things, real estate. in the 1890s it was railroads. the number of rail lines doubled, more than doubled after the civil war, but the population only grew 50%, 60%. and then the bottom fell out in
1893. 119 railroads went bankrupt in 1893 and about 20% i believe that the number of rows in the country. of course all the people who would've vested stock in these railroads were wiped out in this release prior to the panic on wall street and sent the stock market down. there is another thing going on that contributed to the panic of 1893. i won't get into it too much here. suffice it to say in the book i read about in a sparkly detail. there's some amici in prose i came up with. it is about this debate of gold versus silver. that was, what should our currency be based on? should be be based on gold or gold and silver? now, this all might seem arcane and a little silly to us today when our currency is raised on on -- [inaudible] yeah, nothing. quality paper.
you can wash it and still use it. but in 1893, the debate really boiled down to, should our money be backed by gold or silver? and the country really hard since the 1870s had been on the gold standard and it worked pretty simply. the government printed those redeemable for gold. it is easier to carry those that hold so they catch in the treasury. if you wanted to redeem your gold certificates as they were known for gold you could. but in the 1880s and 1890s, a lot of new states came in the union in the west. montana, colorado, nevada. these were silver mining states. the silver mining states began to clamor for silver, to also be a unit of currency in the united states. and they had a lot of clout in congress, these new states they came in very quickly with the senators and representatives.
in 1890, they passed a bill called the sherman silver purchase act, which require the u.s. treasury to buy 4.5 million ounces of silver every man and print an equivalent amount of currency for that. wow, this cost inflation, rapid inflation in the united states is all the current seaport in the markets. now, but they must the people in the west or gold mining states religious zionists because they could sell all their silver to the treasury and the farmers in the south than in the midwest to a lot of them were in debt, especially in the south, still recovering from the civil war. well, inflation if you're in debt is a bad thing because the money you pay your debts is cheaper than the money you borrowed. so it's not that bad of a game. they needed lots of money in their pockets. back east, the bankers and industrialists who were by and large the people lending the
money didn't think so much of this inflation because it devalues their money that they had and it really set up a sectional battle and was a contentious issue between the civil war and the first world war, this debate over currency and it did divide along sectional lines. the north and the east were pulled. and so the uncertainty in the currency markets continued to the panic of 1893. sakura takes office in march and it's got a lot of sway. by the way, francis' wife is now pregnant with her second child as well. so he had a lot of concerns. it was in may of 1883 he noticed for the first time a little lump on the roof of his mouth, back behind the molar on the left side. and he didn't think much of it. as we all do, he put off having it looks out for a while. and now coming out a lot on his plate. it wasn't until june until the
stock air, a guy from new york named joseph bryant examined this bump on the roof of grover's mouth. brent had expertise in oral cancers and he determined it was in fact a cancerous tumor. he called it a bad looking tenant. the word cancer -- cancer had a statement in the 1890s. in the 19th century into the 20th century. the word itself was avoided. newspapers would call it the dread disease for the disease no doubt for the disease no doubt for the disease no doubt a bad looking tenant is that it a bad looking tenant and said it should be removed. cleveland agreed to have this tumor removed, but only on the condition that the operation b. can do it in secret. cleveland was afraid if it came to be known he had cancer, which was uttered virtually a death sentence in a teeny theory that the markets would crash, the wall street would panic and the
depression would only worsen. he had other reasons, too. about 10 years before coming ulysses s. grant died of tumor and it was a very public spat to call. reporters camped out outside his house in a death watch and cleveland was president when grant died and he was fully aware of how that happened in cleveland had no desire to become the object of a spec to collect data. he was a very introverted guy in many ways and didn't want to be the center of attention. so we said, i think we should do this operation in secret. his top or said okay, fine. why the doctors agreed to do this in secret as an example how especially when the patient is a president, the patient dictates the terms of treatment, not the.yours. you see this time and again in american history are presidents have some illness or debility dunk at the best treatment because they're not yours acquiesce to the patient's
demand incentive to him at is best for the patient medically and physically. so where do you remove a tumor and seeker from the roof of the mouth of a president in 1893? too many potentials for springing a leak. it was cleveland himself the came up with the idea of having a tumor removed on a frenzy. he knew a guy named benedict, not me from new york on a yacht called the unita. cleveland and then in france and it often gone fishing together. so cleveland decided this would be the perfect cover. we can have the operation on board the oneida. we can say were going to sail out to cape cod. cleveland had a summer home on cape cod in the operation on the bow. had an operation on a go present certain problems, but nonetheless, six.as were recruited to prefer in this operation and agree to do it on the boat. i'm a night at june 30, 1893, cleveland came to new york in
the six.there's also came to new york. the boat was anchored in the east river in the top yours were ferried undercover darkness, each separately from different peers so no one would know what was going on. had some cigars, and maybe the cigars for the problem to begin with. and the next morning the boat set sail in her shortly after 12:00 that cleveland went downstairs. d andcidentally s a ve operating
with this in the close confines of the room below on the yachtna was probably not the best place to do it.they ane the operation took about 90ut 90 mi minutes and what they did is remove the tumor along with most remo of his upper left pal let it ane left, everything behind their car taken out, as did a big chunk of its upper left jawbone. i was taken in 90 minutes come using fairly naturally to consider rudimentary tools, basically chisels and four sides. they had no suction devices of course at the time. there is no means a blood transfusion, saw the blood he lost, he lost and there were no means of artificial resuscitation if anything would happen to him either. nonetheless, somehow the operation succeeded and cleveland survived. they packed his mouth with gauze and gave him a shot of morphine and put into bat for the night.
it was four days later on july july 5. so the president had been missing for four days now over the fourth of july weekend. the chief executives back in the 1890s wasn't quite what it is today. the office wasn't quite what it is today, but even then it was unusual for the president to disappear the fourth of july. he arrived at his home in massachusetts on the evening of the fifth late at night. none of the reporters there to greet him or see his a rifle were there. probably back at the hotel drinking if i know how reporters operate. so they didn't find out until the next day that cleveland had returned. cleveland healed remarkably quickly. he was fitted with a prosthetic device after about three or four weeks when the wound had cleared on trade healed sufficiently enough. this is a piece of vulcanized rubber and a fashion as to plug the hole in his mouth and equipped onto a couple teeth on the other side in a restored the
shape of his face because a piece of the job had been missing. but more importantly, restored his speaking voice. without this device, cleveland speech was unintelligible and he was famous for his speaking voice. he was one of the great american speakers of the era. and so with this device in his mouth, he could speak again and he appeared completely normal. they hadn't made any external incision. the operation was done entirely in the mouth. they hadn't removed his trademark walrus mustache. god forbid we have a president without facial hair at that time. to all intents and purposes, it looked like cleveland was going for a long vacation on buzzards bay. he was out fishing in a couple weeks and reporters were kept at a distance. it reminds them how ronald reagan would stand by the helicopter and say i can't hear you, i can't hear you when you save in the white house. that's kind of what they did was grover. they kept him at a distance. he would go out fishing and come
back the end of the day in the spokesperson would say everything was fine. there were rumors something was wrong with him. one of the.is on the boat missed an appointment because he was performing this operation. so when he met the doctor he was supposed to meet with for the missed appointment he explained i was operating on the president of the united states. i hope that's a good enough excuse. presumably it was, but then word began to filter on the medical community. doctors in new york began to hear whispers of something that happened. eventually these reached a reporter, a guy by the name of dj at words, a new york correspondent for the philadelphia press. a great time for newspapers in the 1890s. 20 or 30. philadelphia had 15 daily newspapers in the 1890s and everything was very competitive. and e.j. at words heard about this and so he went to the
dentist and played a little trick within the fair balance of journalism at the time, maybe even today. he went on to the dentist that edwards knew more about the story than he did have a two hasbrouck inside i understand operation was performed on the president, that he had a cancerous tumor removed and this was performed and the dentist said somebody in the boat must've told you all that. i went on to spill the beans they get more information to edwards to confirm the operation. on august 29, 2 months after the operation, edwards published a story under the headline, the president is very sick man. the problem is no one believed him. that is because cleveland, as i said earlier had developed his reputation for honesty and integrity and his spokesperson said this was a lie, that no operation had been performed and no tumor removed. they said he merely had a bad tooth extracted. which, technically was true or
if you didn't mention the other tumor and the job of. so the public at this time was inclined to believe cleveland. any else have this reputation for honesty. he was known at the honest president. in a way it almost appears as if he had built buzz this capital in this reputation for honesty and now decided to cash in all his chips on this one big lie. and it worked. cleveland recruited his friends in the press, democratic papers, especially a rival paper in philadelphia called the times, to not merely denied the story, but to discredit the story. and that meant killing the messenger. and so, e.j. edwards was derided as a disgrace to journalism, a cancer faker, panic monger. yet come up with one of the great scoops in american
history, probably the most detailed account of a medical procedure performed upon a president without the patient's authorization and no one believed him. and it is really too bad. i think cleveland probably went too far in discrediting edwards. it was one thing to keep the operation secret, but another thing to in this man's reputation, which he effectively did. so the secret held. in fact, the secret held well into the 20th century. cleveland died in 1908 and there is no recurrence of the cancer. so this is a significant achievement in american medicine and surgery to have a cancerous tumor removed from somebody in 1893 men have no recurrence was really quite spectacular. but nobody knew about it. it wasn't until 1917 finally that one of the doctors who taken part of the operation, a guy named cain from
philadelphia, fascinating guide in and of themselves. there's three main characters, the president, the newspaperman and that that. he graduated from med school in 1862 and then served in the civil war as a commissioned officer, working as a medic. and later on was a commissioned officer in world war i. so he had an amazing career that really stand this. for what we all must consider medieval medicine to modern medicine. keane was a good baptist and always felt badly about the way edwards has been treated. so in 1917, he decided to publish an account of the operation. he asked permission from cleveland's wife, frances. by the way, i forgot that francis had the baby only about six weeks after the report came out that he had cancer. so this help to posh and a last doubts about whether or not the president was a sick man. i mean, he's making babies.
how sick can he be? so keen asked for frances this permission. of course grover had been dead many years and francis agreed. francisco went by the way, she remarried after grover died and married a princeton professor, a guy named thomas preston was married to him much longer than she was to grover. if on a quick story, that francis ledoux on time and 1957 was seated next to eisenhower at a fancy dinner. her place car just identified her as mrs. thomas preston, so eisenhower had no idea who she was. they began chatting and started talking about washington. francis said generally used to live in washington. eisenhower said really? where? only then francis identified herself as the former first lady and eisenhower was quite embarrassed. she agreed with team that there should be an account published
in 1893. and so, that followed 1917, finally broke the embargo and publish an account of the operation of all places the saturday evening post. you think you would go to a medical journal to talk about this amazing achievement in american medicine and oncology, but instead decided to publish it in the saturday evening post. i interviewed a couple of pathologists and said, why do you think this article in the saturday evening post and not some journal of medicine in the path allah just that it's like all that airs, heated a geegaws wanted everyone to know. the saturday evening post is the most popular periodical in the country so that was the place to brag about your achievement. but he also did it to vindicate edwards. the account came out and it did 24 years after the fact after he wrote finally edwards reputation as a truthful correspondent was
vindicated. it is very big news among media people who had always wondered about this account that edwards had written many years before. edwards is still among living at the time and was very gratified by this and sent his letter grades. edwards should be much better remembered not for this, but other work in journalism. he was one of the early -- you worked with jacob rees. and he was an early supporter of stephen crane. he let him stay at his apartment in new york when crane was struggling to write and sell red rash of courage. one of the things i think happened to edwards, his houses burned down in 1908 and he last a lifetime of correspondence and clippings and notes. there is no legacy to leave. it would be amazing to read through his papers and see exactly what his thoughts were as this happened in 1893. he came up with the scoop and
himself fell aside. fortunately, you know where he'd gone to school has some of his papers, so i was able to cobble together a story through that. there is another postscript to this story. the tumor itself, which i'm mentioned that computer museum in philadelphia. it's not much to look at, kind of like a piece of land cauliflower, although i think they're 10 fragments of bone and five teeth, one with a filling, old, naturally because cleveland was a cool guy. and this amorphous blob in this chart always tantalized medical and presidential historians because they wanted to know what kind of cancer did cleveland have? this was an amazing achievement in american cancer research, that they've successfully removed this tumor and there'd be no recurrence of the disease for 15 years until cleveland died in 1908.
but there is a problem. cleveland's children, his last son, francis died in 1995. in fact, i was living in portland, maine and we went to church and had a woman named margaret cleveland and i made a joke about grover. she said actually it was my grandfather. grover was born in 1837. when he was 60, he had a son francis in 1897 and francis would he was 60 had a daughter in 1957 who was margaret. there were 120 years between the birth of margaret and her grandfather. the children lived one to 20 century and they would not allow it the specimen to be tested pathologically to determine the cause of a kind of cancer was because grover had been a wild guy back in his days in buffalo and there were rumors he had a disease, specifically. and the children were afraid if it came out they did the testing
on the specimen that it would come out their father had and this would be embarrassing to them into their father's legacy. it wasn't until the 1970s they finally acquiesce to have a pathological examination on the tumor. the examination determined grover had a very rare kind of cancer. it is called various carcinoma, a mentally and tumor at -- i can never say this word. metastasize. it does not metastasize. but it has to be removed because the tumor continues to grow and can grow so large it will make eating and breathing impossible. so the treatment for this tumor today and the tumor itself was not even identified until 1948. so the.yours in 1893 had no idea what this was because it hadn't even been identified as a specific kind of cancer. the treatment today would be exactly what grover had. you have to excise the tumor
completely. there is no alternative. although today they came out to reconstructed bones and tissue grassi thomas walk around with a piece of rubber, a hockey puck in your mouth, so you can talk to me. this explained that what grover had gone so long without any recurrence of the cancer, that it was the kind of cancer that does not metastasize. and the test also conclusively determined whether or not grover cleveland did have. and the results of that test are in the book, which is now for sale. thank you very much. if anyone has any questions, i'd be happy to answer them. [applause] i think kristin has a microphone event has a question -- or did i cover everything so excellent way? there is the question. >> hello, thank you for the wonderful talk on grover
cleveland. how did he die eventually? that was the cause of death? do not grover retired to princeton and it's a bit of a mystery. he complained of gastrointestinal programs and there is actually some suspicion he may have had an intestinal tumor. although since the oral cancer he doesn't have -- why do you keep make me say and not, the intestinal tumor would not have been related to the oral cancer. he was 71 when he died in 1908 and the official cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest, but that doesn't explain the precipitating causes to that. yeah, grover retired to princeton. it was interesting, yet never gone to college and he sort of became the mascot they are. after football victories, students at march grovers house and give a cheer and he really enjoyed his final time in princeton. we have somebody who's going to
bring a microphone up for you. just a second. >> yeah, the other half of your title tag is the panic of 1893 and other the fact that you mentioned there was a railroad bubble that burst, you didn't say anything about that. there's a covered in the book quite >> yeah, it's covered in the book. there were two major causes, which was the overbuilding of the railroads and the uncertainty in the currency situation. it would be hard to overstate how contentious and controversial attachment of this was to the country, debate of gold over silver. and that is what really precipitated the panic. people didn't know what was going to happen with the currency. would there be a inflation? would there be deflation? it could be you would have a money famine. and these happen periodically.
in fact, that is one of the reasons if they wanted to increase overproduction until so very became a form of currency, there had been periodic periods of great deflation in the country and money would be almost impossible to find. there were other causes in the river of staff they took businesses. things like companies that made forward or rope went out of business in each of the towns where these railroads passed through come to ancillary businesses connected within one out of business. the panic of 1893 lasted until the 1897 and 1898 when the spanish-american war came to give the economy a boost. at the time it was the worst depression in american history. double-digit unemployment for more than five years. it only exceeded now but the great depression of the 1930s. at the time also during the panic of 1893 was terrible
unemployment, terrible inflation, but really no safety net as we have today. and grover was opposed to this. he did not believe in paternalism. in his second inaugural he said while the people she cheerfully support the government, the government should not support the people. this appeals today even to libertarians. i know ron paul keeps a picture of grover cleveland in his office. so this i think also, certainly contributed to grover's unpopularity at the end of his second term. as some accounts it the panic. although, the panic for the first time we see some semblance of public works projects in boston. they pay people 1 dollar a day to chop wood. so there were some programs beginning. most of the relief programs during the panic of 1893 were run by labor unions and also churches and other charitable organizations. there really was no government support program. the panic was also exacerbated.
again in the book it is just an amazing writing i do about this panic of 1893 that is really going to blow your mind. there was a hurricane that hit the southeast coast of the united states in the fall of 1893 and it could have happened at a worse time it pretty much devastated georgia and the carolinas. and this contributed to even greater problems at the panic of 1893 and there was really nothing -- there were no resources to rebuild these areas. and so, it was an interesting confluence of political, economic and natural events that made 1893 such a terrible year economically for the country. like i said come it took about four years for the panic to add finally. but yeah, you'll like it, what i say about that in the book. you might want to get two copies just because you want to give
one away. another question appeared. just wait a second. it's coming. here she comes. >> what was the makeup of the congress at the time of cleveland's operation? would you look at it as kind of a lame duck waiting to die? or mac for one thing, cleveland was a cool guy. his vice president was at least stevenson, future the presidential candidate. stevenson was a sober right. stevenson was from illinois and in favor of bimetallism, using gold and silver as currency. he had been added to the ticket at the convention in 1892 to give balance because democrats needed to win southern states. so you have this unusual situation where the president and vice president are on exact opposite side of the most contentious issue of the day. cleveland was adamant that he not know what was going on.
stevenson had heard rumors. stevenson was at the fair in 1893 and heard rumors and immediately headed east to visit him and and cleveland and her subjectivity telegram and said actually, i would like you to go on a political trip to seattle in 1893, which involved stagecoach, trains,, all sorts of things. that puts stevenson out of action for a considerable amount of time. at the time, democrats controlled both houses for the first two years of his second term, but the panic had gotten so bad by 1894 that republicans then took back the two houses. although cleveland did manage to have the sherman silver purchase act repealed shortly after the surgery in fact. and that is stopped the u.s. treasury from purchasing a 4.5 really an officer month. they had accumulated so much silver in the history of the half years and so many silver certificates have been issued
that silver certificates are actually issued and i believe are valid until 1968. so it was the kind of thing -- it was another cool thing about the book as you go see decisions made in 1893 and don't think they have any relevance. but in a lot of ways to hear the echoes of these things even 120 years later. yeah, as david mentioned, one of my jobs is a gas station attendant. you used to seek him even in the 80s silver certificates come in once in a while. there lucio said at the korean steel. but it was republicans congress for the second half of this term. >> that was a really good talk. >> thank you. you are a really good listener. >> thank you. >> dimension of course he was a
great president or where we choose surrogate has to rate and rank, where it should put him on the spectrum? >> well, yet a method named after him first of all, so you've got to lay grover. at the beginning i said this is amazing. to lose the white house, come back four years later and win it back. i don't care who is involved. will that ever happen again? it's just impossible to conceive of now an incumbent president loses the presidency and retire to their $200,000 gig at speaking events, which is exactly what i am getting paid today. [laughter] but grover didn't have that. there were no pensions at the time and part of the concern for grover was it was pretty much the only job he enjoyed and could do. he retired to new york between his two terms and did a little bit of lawyering, mostly practicing as a mediator. but it is funny. grover was the last of the do-nothing presidents. i don't mean that in a bad way. he vetoed more bills, twice as
many bills in his first term than all his predecessors combined. so he really saw his job primarily is keeping congress from passing laws. he really thought that was what the executive was supposed to first and foremost. he did that. be done in as mayor and did as president. and so, as i said also, he didn't believe in interventionist government in this appeals to a lot of people even today. so i think he deserves to be remembered much better than he has. i mean, let's see, he's got a turnpike rest stop on the jersey turnpike named after him. i think it's between exits 11 and 12 northbound and that's about it. and this great new book. last night that they.
[inaudible] >> every child who places a place not to eat on it has all the presidents. the child looks down and says this is a mistake to cause this picture is coming up twice. >> yeah, he screwed up the numbering. but harry truman never could understand why grover was counted twice. he thought that was ridiculous because only 43 people had been president. why is this president number 44? so yeah, tanks, grover. >> thanks for very interesting talk. the book is now available and matthew would be happy to sign a
>> in 1956, the suez crisis broke out before the election. in his talk, "eisenhower 1956", david nichols writes about how president eisenhower reacted to the crisis. mr. nichols discusses his book at the history center. >> welcomed the atlanta history .enter center.t and ceo i am sal cilella, president and. ceo. this is another lecture madee possible the through the support la of the livingston foundation of atlanta and we are ever so grateful to them for their continued support. our next lecture will be held to maym 16 and will feature james s stewart, author of s tangled wee how false statements are undermining america from arthur stuart to bernie madoff.do i've seen some of the previous of this bookou would be ill-advised to be here. it's fascinating. also in and may join us for a lector featuring the
best-selling author of devah in the white city eric larsen who will be here. he will be discussing his new book in the garden of beasts love, terror and american family in hitler's berlin. tonight's letcher and his being recorded by c-span and check your list listing for the broadcast you can see it again. at this time i would like to ask you to please turn off all of yourself phones or pagers, any other electronic devices that might disrupt our program. or as the delta airlines flight attendant said turn off everything that doesn't keep you alive. [laughter] delta airline stewardess. our author this evening is david nichols who will speak for about 40 minutes and will take your questions. david nichols is the leading expert on the eisenhower presidency. this evening he will discuss his new book eisenhower, 1956 the presidents crisis suez and the brink of the war which the
christian science monitor called one of seven history books worth checking out in 2011. he's the author of a matter of justice eisenhower in the beginning of the civil rights revolution, and lincoln and the indians. he holds a ph.d. from william and mary and currently resides in kansas. please join me in welcoming david nichols to our stage. [applause] >> thank you. it is an honor to be year and to be with people who love history. that's always the best audience one can ever have. we need to shoot on the nasty rumor that's been going around by publisher simon and schuster stirred up all the trouble in the middle east just to sell my book. that's not true. not true. this is also a day when the news is telling us that once again in
author at least alleged the has been making up stuff, and i want you to know that this book, accepting some commentary in the conclusion, that in this book not a phrase is in it is not rooted in a document or any compelling circumstantial evidence. eisenhower 1956 is a new story in so many respects because it is based on hundreds of top-secret documents that have been declassified since the last major book on the suez crisis which published 30 years ago. and when i get done with the presentation those of you that have not read the book and i assume most of you have not well kind of think you know the story but please read the book because the book is better than the speech. i guarantee that. [laughter] i know the book. above all it is a deep and personal story about the man we call affectionately ike and or
about this man. he was a military band called militaristic that is he did not think that the war was a solution to anything. he was as one called slow to pick up the sword. ike's public persona the grandfatherly man with a big smile and the love of the gulf was largely his personal invention. behind-the-scenes he was strategically rigorous and a tough-minded commander in chief. the people who work for him never doubted who was in charge. eisenhower was a citizen of the world more than any other president. he never forgot where he came from and that is why his presidential library is an ethylene kansas, close to where i live. ike was not a professional politician yet he was one of the most successful politicians in our history. supreme lead detectives of his image he did not hesitate to use support and it's like secretary of state john phyllis as lightning russ controversy of
policy with his creation. a temper that exploded like a rocket but the moments requiring a great he was unfailingly cool, calm and deliberate. his was a profoundly religious man who had prayer at the beginning of cabinet meetings. yet with a famous erupted he could turn the air blue with profanity and did so frequently. above all eisenhower saw himself not as a warrior but as a peacemaker and that's what this book is about and tonight in a time of war and unrest in the middle east it's fitting that we have reviewed the most dangerous international crisis of the eisenhower presidency that crisis was also in the middle east. this was of kneal lighting. a drama number one begins on such number 23, 1955 and denver
colorado and the golf course dwight eisenhower had not enjoyed a vacation so much in years. believe it or not the president of the united states had himself cooked a huge breakfast that morning for his fishing buddies. the gulf was the president's priority for the day. after a briefing at the air force base office eisenhower had for the country club his secretary remember that she had never seen him look or act better. his golf game was interrupted four times that day for phone calls from the secretary of state john foster dulles. now this is before cell phones, so an irritated probably proclaim ike had to return to the clubhouse for each call only one of which actually got through. that call was important. polis confirmed to eisenhower the soviet union had made an arms deal with egypt.
ike knew that this bold move would open a new chapter in the cold war and ike kunkel list agreed the president should send a message to the soviet premier nikolai. the president wanted to think about it overnight. he told dulles he would call him the following morning. that phone call was never made. ike went back to golf with his game the terrie did. as the day went on the president experienced a growing discomfort and declined as usual his evening drink, have little appetite for dinner and retired early. in the middle of the night, ike appeared by the bedside of his pain across the lower part of my chest, he said. since he had complained earlier about in the justin, mimi gave her husband milk of magnesia. at 2:54 a.m. mimi called dr. howard snyder, the president's physician, who rushed to the white house. snyder initially put out the
word that this was a digestive upset when he knew it was a massive heart attack. he waited until midafternoon that day before transporting the president's president to a hospital and even then had him walk to his cart instead of calling an ambulance. now if you want more detail on the mismanagement of this situation you've got to read the book. don't have time tonight. eisenhower was in the hospital for six weeks in those days the gold standard treatment for heart attack patients was total bed rest. his doctors would not permit him to read the newspaper kawlija movie, listen to a football game on the radio, but alone do much serious presidential business. he did not take a step across his room for a month in this incredibly active man felt like a caged animal. so at the very moment the union attempted to change the balance
of power in the middle east. eisenhower was out of commission. and secretary of state john foster dulles was on his own aníbal to consult with the president as he normally did. and let us very once and for all the myth that john foster dulles rim the american foreign policy in the eisenhower years. everyone close to both men and i've talked to a number of them knew that he was in charge. dwight eisenhower was out of the white house and people hardly believe this. dwight eisenhower was out of the white house for three and a half months. accepting two nights recuperating in gettysburg. , number two the heart patient so restricted is another activities that is whether he should run for a second term in 1956. i am satisfied that to ike always intended to run and age of roosevelt you have to have a
second term and ike wanted to be a great president. but the heart attack raised the enormous question of whether physically he could run. ike repeatedly discussed possible successors of age. none of whom had a snowball's chance of being nominated little loan elected. the only republican with sufficient stature to run was the chief justice earl warren of the supreme court and if you want to know eisenhower civil rights chapter 5 will tell you all about it. eventually ike shot down the running and convinced himself he would be serving. ike also feared that no one else could prevent a nuclear holocaust. in january 1956 eisenhower was informed in a nuclear exchange with the soviet union 65% of the
american population would be. years later chief of staff sherman adams said the real reason the president wants to run again, adams said, is because he doesn't think anybody else can do as good a job as he is doing. after waiting so long that no one else could put together -- he really did wait a long time so much no one could put together a viable candidacy he announced his candidacy on february 29th, 1956. number three is about the aswan
dam to read about the plan for an egyptian progress historians often ignore the fact that eisenhower attempted to resolve the arab-israeli conflict that endures to this day. on august 26, 1955 before his heart attack, john foster dulles publicly denounced the administration's plan code-named alpha for resolving the conflict. that plan reads like it was written in 2011. discussing borders, palestinian refugees, places in jerusalem, etc.. the aid to the aswan dam would be the carrot to entice him to make peace with israel. like most middle east peace plans the plan was dead all rival. yet once he began to recover, eisenhower reasons the question and in december 1965 he persuaded the national security council that the united states should begin offer that would have office of the financing of
the dam. however, in the following months, the negotiations with the egyptians were down. ike paid little attention to those negotiations. he was preoccupied with his health, his decision about running for a second term and getting the campaign. by june 7th, 1956, eisenhower appeared to have recovered from his heart attack. that morning, he presided over the national security council meeting, had another 15 appointments and practiced golf. that evening he attended the white house news photographers' dinner and stay up until midnight, a schedule that his doctors would have vetoed a couple weeks earlier. the president's car dropped dr. slater of his home and ike retired chabad almost immediately. the doctor was removing his close when the phone rang. snyder reached for it. only the first lady could be calling at such an hour.
this is another anguishing medical drama that i'm sorry to say again that you're going to be to read the book if you it turned out he had an obstruction in his upper intestine which the doctors called ileitis. 13 doctors agonized for hours over whether to stick a knife in the president suffered a heart attack eight months earlier they waited until 2 a.m. on saturday, june 9th to operate. dr. snyder said the surgery would have taken place hours earlier if the patient had been plain mrs. murphy. once again, eisenhower was out of commission for weeks. for the middle east, the timing could not have been worse. by the time he returned to the white house on july 15th, 1956, john foster dulles had decided to withdraw the american offer to the aswan dam project largely
because congress was opposed to it. on july 19th, 1956 dulles and a 12 minute meeting obtained eisenhower's descent to the decision to withdraw the offer of aid to aswan dam. he was not on top of the issue. his recovery from surgery was difficult he had been plagued with bouts of depression. that afternoon dulles informed the egyptian ambassador to the next day the proudly told some friends that the united states had made, "a big move and that nasser was now, quote, in a hell of a spot. a weak leader in retaliation, the nationalized the canal company saying he would use its profits to build the aswan dam.
the british and french control the company for decades. two-thirds from western europe came through the canal and now it was a united states and its allies that we are in a hell of a spot. immediately the british and french prepared to go to war. but eisenhower was adamant that the war was not justified. egypt, he said, had a right to nationalize the canal because it is located in the egyptian territory. to ike, the only question was whether the egyptians to keep the canal open and functioning effectively. eisenhower shook off philandering effect of his surgery. for three months he and dulles made frantic efforts to keep the british and french talking instead of fighting. still shellshocked from world war ii you have to remember this context this is only 11 years after the end of world war ii, still shellshocked from the british and french made nasser into another hitler and by late
september, 1956, eisenhower's allies gave up on him and any support for taking on nasser and the implement a program of blatant reception. the failure of american intelligence for momentous in this crisis. the cia did not force the nationalization on the canal and missed the call in on the british, french and israelis. now for the plot. on wednesday october 24th, 1956 in a villa outside of paris the french foreign minister, prime minister of israel and patrick, the deputy undersecretary of state for great britain signed a secret protocol providing that the israeli troops would invade the peninsula on october 29th. this was the plan. once they advance towards the canal britain and france would
ensure an ultimatum to israel and egypt to cease fighting index that the occupation of the zone. if as expected each had rejected the ultimatum, britain and france would begin bombarding egypt on october 31st although by troop landings. remember this was secret. it was not in the newspapers. what was in the newspapers that day was the soviet union had sent troops into budapest hungary, killing dozens of protesters. eisenhower knew nothing of the secret meeting in paris. that day the intelligence advisory committee chaired by cia director, the brother of john foster dulles, assumed the war was not imminent and pay for the revision of intelligence estimates. the committee ignored the fbi report an unnamed country was considering military action against nasser.
on monday october 29th, eisenhower campaigning in florida was handed a note as he boarded the plane for richmond virginia. the note said that the israeli army had attacked egypt and that israel's forces had driven 25 miles of the canal. a deck in the white house that might and angry and profane eisenhower ordered secretary dulles to fire a message to the israelis telling them we are going to apply sanctions. we are going in the united nations. we are going to do everything there is so that we can stop this thing. he knew if the canal was to serve the four pipelines were destroyed the british and french would attacked. he didn't know of course they could already planned to do that. if the british intervened, he said, they may open a deep rift between us to meet with the election be days away, eisenhower declared that he did not care in this latest whether
he was reelected or not. on october 30th, the british and french implemented to the letter the secret plan the endorsed on october 24th. they delivered a 12 hour ultimatum to israel and egypt sees military operations but all the forces to miles from the canal and accept occupation of the zone from the forces. the british and french mistakenly assume that once they acted the world war ii ally in the white house would bail them out with funds, oil and military equipment. or were they wrong. instead, an angry eisenhower told the aide those that began this operation should be lived to boil in their own. that night in the u.n. security council the british and french vetoed a the american resolution calling for the cease-fire in egypt. less than a half an hour later
the deadline for the french and british ultimatum expired and the largest naval and in the eastern mediterranean since world war ii steamed towards egypt. the next morning wednesday, october 21st, eisenhower was heartened by the news that soviet troops pulled back in budapest hungary and the the soviet government had declared its intention to practice noninterference in the eternal affairs of the satellite states. in egypt the confirmed the british planes were bombing airfields, ports, railways and communications centers, turning neatly parked rhodes of aircraft into burning smoking wreckage. nasser's troops had sunk in a 320 feet long ship loaded cement into the suez canal. the first of the 32 ships. eisenhower concluded that he should address the nation that
might october 21st. foster dulles, sick and exhausted, wrote a draft of the address and declared it an absolute disaster. late in the afternoon ordered that a new speech be written. minutes before the broadcast in the oval office speech writer did the speech to the president a page at a time across the table. the speech was short. eisenhower revealed given the veto in the security council he had taken the unprecedented step of appealing to the united nations general assembly. the united states was not consulted in any way about any phase of the actions eisenhower said nor were we informed of them in advance and he pledged there will be no united states involvement in the present house devotees. would been described november
come thursday november 1st, 1956 another day of crises. sherman adams called this, quote, the worst week that eisenhower experienced. that morning the president was besieged with rumors the soviets were planning to deploy aircraft on syrian basis. whether the russians might have slipped some atom bombs to the egyptians. eisenhower canceled all campaign evens except the one scheduled for philadelphia that might november 1st. and whitman recalled that the fighters had to go to the train to complete the speech in time. in philadelphia and the convention hall, ike looked out at 18,000 partisans who came fully expecting a rousing campaign speech.
instead he launched into what others call a high level speech by a man who spoke not as a republican partisan but as president of all the countries. eisenhower stated that the nation had pursued a path by staying against the use of force in both hungary and egypt. united states, he says, cannot and will not condone armed aggression no matter who the attackers and no matter who the victim. we cannot in the world any more than in our own nation subscribe to one of law for the week another for the strong one of those opposing us and another for those of us there can be only one and there will be no peace. we believe that the power of the modern weapons makes war literalists but preposterous.
and the only way to win world war iii is to prevent it. eisenhower was completely drained by on realigning crisis he drank too scotches before dinner on the train and three highballs afterwards are arriving at the union station's 12:29 november 2nd. on friday morning november 2nd, eisenhower learned that at 4 o'clock in the morning the general assembly passed the cease-fire resolution by the food 64 period five really surprisingly the soviet union voted in favor. democratic candidate adlai stevenson was harshly critical of the saturation. we have alienated our ancient and strongest european allies, he said. we have alienated israel three would have eliminated egypt and the arab countries and the
united nations faces yet in the middle eastern matters now appear to be the soviet union and the very week when the red army has been shooting down of hungary and poland. stevenson concluded i doubt if ever before in our diplomatic history has any policy been such an invisible, such a complete and such a catastrophic failure. ike is not sleeping well. his doctor was concerned. the president's blood pressure was bottled, his heart skip beats and the nominal discomfort and diarrhea. the records of the eisenhower library are marvelously detailed one day i told one of the library staff that the reports of the president's diarrhea was just a little more information
than i really wanted or needed. [laughter] late in the night of november 2nd john foster dulles was rushed to walter reed hospital where the next morning doctors removed a cancerous tumor from his colon. saturday morning november 3rd, the news from the middle east was dismal. the serious of the jurors have blown up oil pipelines running through the country. the egyptian troops were pulling in to cairo to defend the capitol and the anglo-french air strikes had destroyed the egyptian air force on the ground. eisenhower's opponents continued to fiercely attacked his policies. eleanor roosevelt accused the administration of favoring the arabs over israel and asserted that britain and france had been brought to the point of desperation by american policy. it leaves us in a very strange position, he said, of supporting
the kremlin, and an egyptian dictator against our oldest and strongest allies. six of the eight democratic members of the foreign relations committee publicly agreed with stevenson and roosevelt that the president's middle east policies have failed the had presided over, quote, for years of indecision, pat kosmas, committee and bluster, and of quote. that night of november 3rd, stevenson asserted, quote, the president's age, his health, and the fact he cannot succeed himself needed inevitable dominant figure in the republican party and the second eisenhower term would be richard nixon. stevenson asked the crowd to you want to place a hydrogen bomb in his hands? sunday november 4th dwight
eisenhower confronted a perfect storm. at 4 a.m. the soviet ordered the crew union ordered 200 troops into hungary. tens of thousands of hungarian stock your wounded the day-to-day lives and how were quickly concluded the united states was in no position to intervene in hungary. his allies are tied down in the war in egypt and hungary was not accessible in the american forces could not respond by land without violating the to the italy of the neutral or communist states. meanwhile, in the middle east, israel now controlled both the gazzo strip and held 5,000 prisoner. on monday, november 5th, the election eve british and french paratroopers ended in egypt and
they send messages to the prime minister even and the embezzler israel alluding to the modern weapons of destruction and rocket weapons. we are full of determination, he wrote, to crush the aggressor and to reestablish peace in the middle east by using force. simultaneously, the proposed eisenhower that the united states and the soviet union jointly mobilized their fleet to stop aggression. to terminate further bloodshed they warned the president if the war does not stop it is fraught with danger and it can grow into a third world war. eisenhower interpreted the russian proposal of an ultimatum. he drew a line in the middle east calling it unthinkable. that is one of his favorite words, unthinkable, that the
united states will join forces with the soviets when the general assembly had already ordered the cease-fire. unilateral action by the soviet union, eisenhower stated, would be forcefully opposed by the united states and he ordered the navy's sixth fleet stationed in the mediterranean to be placed on alert. this was an election eve. the stress is taking its toll on the president. after the meeting over the message, the doctor from the president's blood pressure and elevated and heartbeat in regular. he laid down and develop a headache. after all, he had only eaten a dish of carrots and a glass of yogurt since breakfast. the president's agitation the doctor record was due to what he termed as an ultimatum if inserted upon him. they had with soldierly profanity he growled that if he
were a dictator he would tell russia if they moved a figure he would drop the entire stock of atomic weapons on him. tuesday, november 6 was election day. ike a rose to the middle east and even greater turmoil. at a meeting that morning he was somber. our people should be alert, eisenhower said. the presidents of the russian planes and syria would inevitably trigger british and french attacks on the air fields. if that haven't come as he liked to say, that would be in the fire. he inquired of that as the chairman of the trade chiefs whether american naval units were yclept with atomic anti-submarine weapons. not long after the president had left to gettysburg and whitman recalled that the news from the middle east looked so bad that at one point the white house staff contemplated asking the
president to turn around and come back to the white house. rumors were rampant with the soviet intervention. some of the bad news came directly from moscow. the american ambassador came that the soviet move had become more ominous and the soviet leaders were prepared to take military action unless the cease-fire was quickly achieved. the staff with the president's return by flying him back instead of having to drive to gettysburg. ike arrived at the white house at 12:38 p.m.. falling short briefing, he strolled into the cabinet room where 18 men were waiting. the vice president, the top leadership of both the state and defense departments including the joint chiefs. this was a council of war.
admiral regarding the steps of the joint chiefs were prepared to take the shared readiness for fighting majeure war with the soviet union eisenhower reviewed each step urging careful and deliberate implementation. then the sun broke from behind the clouds and the president was informed of the middle of this meeting that the british and primm and mr. was available by phone. eisenhower interrupted a meeting to take the call and he confirmed in that conversation that he had ordered a cease-fire in egypt. this is a test conversation and it is much more detailed than i am presenting here. a tense conversation with a exempt for evin. ike asked if the british compliance with the ceasefire would be without condition we cease fire tonight at midnight provided we are not attacked.
eisenhower had foreseen what they would still try to play. he insisted that british technical troops not be used to clear the canal that would have constituted a detective occupation and that no british or french troops or soviet or american for that matter served in the united nations report. the first point in the conversation came when they asked about foster dulles and the election. the applied which is given our whole lots to hungary and the middle east. i don't give a damn how the election goes. eisenhower knew the piece was so fragile and the soviet intentions were unclear. he ordered implementation of most of the readiness steps that were discussed at the new meeting. that night the joint chiefs put the six atlantic and pacific fleets on battle ready alert and
deploying additional ships, submarines and tactical resources and placed heavy carrier weems on the 12 hour alert. about 12 p.m. the eisenhower party traveled to the hotel in washington where the swede had been reserved for watching the election returns. now as you all know, the president won the election by huge margins. but ike did not go downstairs to address the supporters until 1:45 a.m. because the opponent adamle stevens and waited until the end to make a confession speech. meanwhile, hours earlier, approximately 2 a.m. cairo time, 7 p.m. in washington, d.c., the fighting ended in the middle east. prevent the in a brief blog eisenhower continued to be
concerned the possibility of the soviet intervention because the british, french and israelis declined to withdraw their forces even though there had been a cease-fire they would not withdraw. eisenhower adamantly refused to provide oil and financial support to his bankrupt allies and they were truly the bankrupt and the run on the british finances were in terrible shape. he refused to provide support and the allies were facing a cold winter and she would give them nothing until they publicly committed themselves to withdraw. it got so tense the cab drivers often refused to pick of americans and gas stations declined to sell fuel. it took a month to get the commitment and another month for the withdrawal. the israeli withdrawal to even longer. it's a huge story that i don't have time to get into. the israelis evacuated the cyanide but refused to leave the
strength in the mouth of the gulf continued to occupy the two spots. finally after four months of the presidential pressure on march 1st, 1957, the israeli government announced its intention to withdraw. there's a big story about this because publicly this was a hot potato, too. then there's the eisenhower doctrine. in a four hour meeting with congressional leaders on new year's day 1957, who else but the white eisenhower could hold a four hour meeting with congressional leaders on newsday? eisenhower content the resolution to the leaders endorsing the military and economic aid to the middle east and if necessary, military intervention by the united states. the house passed the resolution on january 30th, the same day that he created the king of saudi arabia for the cameras in the state visit.
now he insisted the president come to the airport to greet him as something ike had never done with any other foreign leader that the saudi oil had its clout in those days, too and he finally agreed to go. he grumbled that now he supposed he had to greet everybody at the airport in the future. once israel agreed to the withdrawal, the doctrine passed the senate on march 5th. in a breathtaking two months dwight eisenhower persuaded the congress and the united states to dramatically reorient american policy towards the middle east. the eisenhower doctrine committed the united states to replace the british as the guarantor of the stability and putting oil resources in the middle east. for good or ill as president obama has experienced in the past few weeks, for good or ill that obligation is still the
cornerstone of american policy. thank you. [applause] >> if you have questions if you would come up to the microphone. [inaudible] >> use the microphone, folks. no such thing as a dumb question or comment. >> there was a great talk. thank you very much. i have a question. did the obama administration contact you about their involvement in libya, and if not, did you find similarity in how he dealt with libya and in comparison with the suez canal
incident? >> no, the obama administration has not talked with me. i met with the former senator chuck hagel tomorrow in washington, d.c. pointroll brought 27 copies of the book and gave one to the president, one to the vice president, one to the secretary defense, and i haven't talked with the senator yet about it but my position is that he is a little uncertain in the intervention in libya is a good thing. it always is tricky. we have to be very careful about taking a historical figure and the playing him to the situation 50 or 60 years later. but there are principles in the way the eisenhower approaches things in the consideration, and eisenhower generally did not like the war what he called a brush fire war and the one in curvy and he refused to going to china or egypt he just didn't do it and he disliked very much the marginal military interventions.
he believed if you went in colin powell gets the credit for the doctrine of overwhelming forces and often thinks that they ought to remind us of dwight eisenhower talked about all the time but of course eisenhower got the debate with the german general but the overwhelming force that marginal charnel ike understood very well the trouble is partial interventions is a spin out of control, yet they are very hard to manage and it appears to be that mechem too, so i don't know whether the president would want to talk about that or not. i'm a little concerned that is becoming a stalemate and you can have not only a unilateral quagmire like we've had in a couple of other places in multilateral quagmire, too. yes, sir. >> what was richard nixon's role in any of this if any? >> richard nixon's will have a lot to do about nixon and
eisenhower to it i don't want to get too involved with the eisenhower presidency has been distorted by my profession as shameful just because people didn't do the research. one of them is the relationship with eisenhower and nixon and i'm satisfied never kept nixon for the secretary of the vice president he didn't want. you really have to know eisenhower to understand he didn't abide people will it's not true he kept that doctrine. i don't know. but anyway. dr. snyder is an old crony but nixon was basically, to answer your question, ike's political circuit and when eisenhower quit campaigning which he did once the crisis broke out nixon went out and substituted for him and took on adamle stevenson and nixon also provided much of their support in the congress, and i haven't looked very carefully at what he did with the eisenhower doctrine passage
but i'm sure he played a major role and presided over this limit, and ensure he was deeply involved behind the scenes but he was a politically wiser for eisenhower and nixon, the way that nixon left the presidency people forget what else he knew. somebody else? this? yes? >> what was the effect on these events on nasser? >> defect on nasser he asks. eisenhower saved his heart. if he decided to join with the allies nasser would have been coast. now what you would have done after that is an interesting thing to speculate. but there isn't any question now. you've got to remember that in those days nasser and arab nationalists were considered pretty progressive. they bring getting rid of the
royal road and they were getting rid of the colonial powers and so they were pretty progressive. what happens is nestor stays in power and is followed by sinnott and is followed by you know who, mubarak. mubarak is a 28-year-old officer already on the rise at the time of the crisis. so eisenhower's policy, we have to say -- i sound very pro eisenhower with clinton and consequences operates eisenhower's policies open the door for the military strongmen to order the middle east, and at the same time it would not be fair to hang it around his neck altogether 50, 60 years later but nevertheless that was the factor. personally i had and all that i'm trying to get somebody to print at the moment. my prediction is the military is not done in egypt. they've been in charge for 60
years and i will be real surprised if we don't have either a military officer or somebody with a very close ties to the military who serves as the next president of egypt. yes, sir. >> aside from the fact they were in different parties was eisenhower's's relationship with truman? >> i don't pretend to be expert on that. there is a book called harry and ike. that's the correct title. i forget the author's name. i'm an old guy and the part of my brain that remembers names has died. [laughter] and so i get caught with that sometimes. it was not an easy relationship. having said that, you know, truman chose eisenhower to head nato. we now know from the diary that he intended to persuade ike as early as 1948 to run for president on the democratic
ticket. how serious that was for truman i haven't studied but we now know that is in his diaries. on the other hand there is very tense in 1953 at the inaugural inauguration eisenhower did not get out of the car and go over to the white house to get to the outgoing president and he was very offended about that and talked about the leader. it was not an easy relationship all the when the book by mengin the kind of reconciled in the years later quite a bit. it was a fairly tense relationship, partly because truman later in the history of alleged that ike wanted to come back and mary kate summers be his driver in new york and wanted to divorce mimi and had written george marshall about that and truman had taken those letters in the state department and destroyed them. at least one scholar i know who's pretty good thanks truman
made that up. i am not qualified. i'm not giving a very good answer because i'm not expert on that. i'm sorry. >> i heard that sadat is a statement earlier that they told him because we didn't back our allies that the united states couldn't be trusted and the became allies with the soviets. is that true? >> that sadat said that? >> that nasser said that to sadat as related -- >> i couldn't dispute that. there's another thing i tell folks i know a whole lot about little and i know a whole lot about i just talked about. i couldn't dispute that. i think there is still work to be done on the evolution of things after the eisenhower years. the defendants of the colonial or the diplomatic historians has been to assume the eisenhower doctrine and policies for abject failure and that nasser himself
being allied with the soviets i'm not sure that he was ever really -- it is true the soviets helped fill the aswan dam but i'm not sure that it never became what you'd call a satellite of the union. whether the united states can be trusted with a view can take that statement and look at it two or three different ways certainly the allies didn't think he could be trusted to do what they wanted to revive sorry it is a poor answer. i'm just not qualified to answer. >> i think i know if i know my history fairly correctly that the will of israel after world war ii which was the implementation of the treaty or the agreement, what was eisenhower's view of the reluctance of israel to withdraw
>> you're asking about that, you're not asking that the creation of israel? >> i'm asking about when he was president and they were going through how israel was taking over some of the territory that was not involved in the agreement was his feeling about that? >> you're talking about >> i only knew about this as situation. i'm not very qualified to speak of the rest of it. but he certainly put enormous pressure on israel to withdraw and he appealed to the commerce on february 20th, 1957 for support for that and the congress turned him down. so he turned around that night and went to the people with a televised address and behind-the-scenes according to his memoirs he threatened to cut
off private contributions from american jews to israel which at that time is really, really major. now whether he could have done that, i don't know. but in terms of the politics of the united states, eisenhower took extraordinary steps to oppose israel's policies at that time. the earlier stuff i'm not as good on. in terms of the seed of the creation truman recognized the state of israel and if i believe 1948 as the presidential campaign that was really opposed by george marshall the secretary of state and george marshall, general george marshall had been eisenhower's mentor. and there are certain reasons to believe that eisenhower agreed with marshall certainly people in the state department believed
wade henderson is a graduate of the school in the southwestern college who really believed that the creation, the recognition hough of the investor vioxx that doesn't mean you cannot support that because there's a dramatic and wonderful story in the state of israel and i move that the weeds are mixed and the flowers in that kind of situation. i wish i could answer you better. >> did the hungarian expected the americans to come to their aid in 1956? >> there is significant evidence with a great disillusionment about the hungarian groups and some of the refugees there were hundreds of thousands of refugees left and all of the united states did was make provisions and i forget the
numbers now but for the thousands of hungarian refugees to come to this country but there is a great disillusionment he was very clear headed that it could not be done and this is going back to the earlier question who didn't believe in taking on a military that couldn't be completed successful he regretted deeply but made the decision you have to go back to world war ii we've elon mythology of what happened in world war ii but without the soviet union in world war ii, a case could be made that the war would have come out very differently. and the soviet union suffered 35 million casualties estimated on the eastern front. and united states and allies powers didn't plan the main line of by 1944. this is a totally different situation. the soviet union they were not
available to help but was roundly criticized much more so than my but doesn't do justice to that particular subject i regret to say would you address eisenhower and vietnam? >> yeah, i sound like a broken record because i tell you i know a lot about the middle. i do know about that. clearly made the decision not to intervene in china in 1954 particularly in the state of the zambian flew and he had a number of advisers who wanted him to do and he thought about it and he was surrounded by a number of people who felt he should do it and he went over night and came back the next day and said i'm not going to send one soldier to die in those rice paddies and he did not.
having said that, eisenhower left a bit of a mess in vietnam to it of the geneva convention of 1954, i know something about this because i used to teach a course on it, the convention of 54 called for unified elections in vietnam and those elections never took place because the united states supported in effect the creation of a separate country in south vietnam even though it really wasn't a separate country, never was. this was an outcome in the cold war and so eisenhower's policies of the allies are open to a lot of question. i haven't done though detailed research on that like i have on this, but he clearly chose a typical eisenhower not to intervene militarily in indochina. he believed that putting ground troops in asia. and i would submit that american experience nullity the judgment on that score.
islamic anybody else? how are we doing for time? one more question. okay. really good questions, folks. terrific. >> so, along the same lines, eisenhower chose -- was involved in the bay of pigs and that crisis arose soon after his presidency ended in the kennedy administration. his decision to be involved with the freedom fighters in cuba. that sounds inconsistent with all you've said about eisenhower 's reluctance to engage in the brush fire war. spec that's a matter of -- that the of higgs is a matter of controversy among historians write not and cannot resolve upon those. the historians who have tended to deify john f. kennedy -- a
little you know i have a son named jonathan kennedy. but anyway, i really like kennedy and so many ways, but the historians who are biased towards him have tried to argue that eisenhower really had set this up and kennedy just carried it out. i am convinced, and one scholar i know who's seen documents i am convinced that eisenhower would have never done this the way that kennedy did. even the plan with the support just didn't look like an eisenhower kind of intervention. eisenhower would have done what he did in lebanon in 1958 he landed 14,000 troops to read he believed an overwhelming force. he was open to covert action. we know that in garbala and iran. so he was not an angel when it came to the covert action of the
cuban invasion is a strange phenomenon. the cia if you do today what contingency plans the cia has he would be horrified. so the contingency plans were around and the new president came in as as dulles and all these other people to president kennedy, and after eight years quite a few people who were upset with eisenhower would do something different the and one of the big arguments about winning the war about whether you could have the war because eisenhower said retaliation. the war were dangerous. he didn't like them. he thought they could lead to the holocaust. whereas maxwell taylor who is the head of the joint chiefs of staff were eventually for kennedy and the head of the army when ike was there believed in committed war and certain trumpet and fought the the nuclear age there was the only